Will got here on Monday, and we're slowly settling in now. Our internet connection is still very iffy, but it worked for a little while last night, and I hope it will come on today for me to post this.
We have been enjoying this little house so much! After dreaming of something like this for years, and then pretty much deciding that it wouldn’t ever happen (and learning to love apartment life), now my old dream has come true. Even after I decided that I loved having neighbors under, over, and all around us, I still had moments where I wished that I could just step outside for a little while, without it being a social occasion. Here I’ll be able to do that sometimes.
Although, we certainly haven’t gotten away from communal living. This is a whole new level of collective. Our closest neighbors are the young family that rents the other half of the house. Then there are also the “Aunt” and “Uncle” who live two houses down and look after this place. Also, for the first week, our landlady was staying here. Apparently, she comes (all the way from Italy!) for a few weeks every year. And all the other random, less closely “related” neighbors are in and out, too, of course. So, while the introvert part of me has been cringing a little, the people-loving part has been thriving.
The other family has two little boys, both younger than Bogdan. They’re 1 and 2 years old. (Really! The Russian wait-at-least-five-years-after-first-baby mandate isn’t nearly as strong in Ukraine.) Our children have already fallen in love with them. Bogdan wakes up in the mornings, asking for the “babies” and then wants to spend all day with them. Both of them are quite comfortable toddling in and out of our home, as if it was theirs, too. We’re enjoying their company and getting to know each other. I love having a few more little ones around!
Unfortunately, the yard has been a bit of a disappointment. Our neighbor sees it all as hers, and doesn’t think children should do anything other than sit still in her yard. So, we’re going to have to work things out with her and learn to try to please her. It really is too small for running, but I would think a little noise and dirt and climbing would be okay. Not so, at least at this point.
But, the house is wonderful! And we’re enjoying being here. We've had a lot of quiet days, exploring our new surroundings, and also two big, fun highlights: an orphanage picnic and an English-speaking family gathering. Hopefully I can tell you about those soon, but for now we really need to get unpacked and started on school. And, like I said, internet is a still a work in progress. We'll see how much I can write in the next week or so....